importance of radius arms? | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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importance of radius arms?

give me a beak, I had a 2000 GTI VR6 and there is no way a 4 door explorer, I dont care how wide your tires, out handled that car....


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On the way to Truck Haven going down the mountain road, he couldn't keep up with me around the corners. Too much understeer...

Nava Joe - Maybe you could just not put the lift on until you can afford the extended arms?

then he cannot drive that car :) My BII handles the curves amazingly well, short wheel base, sway bars front and rear, increased track width, low ride height when compared to tire width, low center of gravity, and I live in the mountains. My BII will outcorner your explorer I know for a fact, the GTI will eat me alive if I am driving both vehicles......

Thanks for the info I wasn't aware of that. Everyone I've spoke to said they aren't worth it if your not an offroader. For my needs it's not.

Extended radius may improve the ride quality over the new lift, but I know mine rides great without them. Huge improvement over stock setup and 2" suspension, 3" body lift. Also, extended RA's would probably break before the drop down brackets would. My brackets are 3/8" thick steel I think, and they're rediuculous beefy. I think it was RangerX who I saw within the past few months that had broken an extended RA. Honestly, if you're going to be doing more serious offroading, the extra $400 is not worth it. Yeah, they'll improve the ride quality and articulation off road, but unless you're trying to put together a kickass trail TTB setup, then they're not necessity. The lift will ride great without them.

First off you are getting opinions about not needing them from people who dont have them

J602, those old Rancho arms that Bill keeps breaking are WEAK, espeically when you have 37" tires on a 5000# Ranger, locked at both ends. Rancho only made a 2" TTB lift and only for a few years, niothing but problems with them under heavy use.

Yes changing the spring rate and adding new shocks will always improve the ride over a worn out stock suspension, but my point is this, without radius arms you are only increasing your ride height, not the ride of the TTB. If you added new coils and shocks to a stock TTB it too would "ride great"

However until you have driven daily or for trail use with the radius arms you will never know the benefits of having them.

Now they may not be for you, which is great! I loved my truck with a Duff stage I lift and all drop down brackets too, it drove far better then stock, but now years later, after messing around with all sorts of TTB setups, I can tell you without the arms, you are only feeling a updated stock suspension and bigger tires, not getting any of the benefits of what the TTB can really do.

So make your decision, whatever you decide have fun with it, but to answer your original question, in MY opinion, they are worth every penny. Now I have used all sorts of bolt on TTB kits, worked with pretty much every brand I know of and I am not too find of Duff, so you might weigh your options before you spend the $$$, for the $$$ there are other bolt on kits that fit better and outperform the Duff offerings.

why for no one mention wristed RA? = more flex right?

Wristed radius arm is used for solid axles, not for a TTB

There's definitely no doubt that they're a great improvement over stock. I just think that they're a bit better investment for a truck that sees more trail duty.

i like the camburg entry level kit

hehehe or the autofab.

stock arms = stock ride & stock travel

Let me explain..

The stock ride isn't bad at all, and with only 3" of lift and new springs and shocks it is improved further. Dont take me the wrong way, stage I is a good place to be.

There are two things I do not like about the new Duff TTB kits (Other bolt on kits are similar too)

First the fact that the coil bucket assembly bolts to the frame at the stock ride height, meaning a 3" coil gives you 3" of lift, whereas if I was to bolt on a new coil bucket I would re-locate it at least 2" upward. In this case a 5" lift coil would now get you 3" of lift AND increased bump travel. So why bother with the Duff buckets when you can improve the lift in this area using stock or other aftermarket buckets?? Now the Duff VR coils (which are awesome because of the variable rate) are not tall enough, and they do not offer a TTB coil that will work with more then 3" of lift currently, I dont believe. The dual shock setup is great, if you plan to wheel the truck off road into situations where the shocks will heat up (desert racing) otherwise it is overkill, a single shock is easily capable of handling DD and trail duty, especially for low range crawling where the shock is cycled slowly.

Second the Duff re-designed radius arms are a single tube design. This has been attempted in the industry over and over again and they have not been able to hold up to the abuse thrown at them, again mainly by the high speed desert or hard core rock crawler guys. Now with that said it is my understanding that the new Duff heim single tube arms are VERY stout this time around and I have yet to hear of one bending, breaking or twisting, but this is more likely due to the availability of better suited heim jointed arms for this type of extreme use application.

Once you have a 3" lift you will want more, to upgrade to a stage II with a SOA in the rear on an Explorer. The problem with going this route with Duff is they do not currently offer anything more than 3", and the parts that come with your stage I kit will all have to be replaced when you decide to go stage II, with the exception of the pitman arm and coil buckets.
Duff has talked about developing a taller kit, not sure if it is available yet. It is also not clear if it retains the same drop brackets for the axle pivots or not.

I started with their earlier TTB kit, I wheeled the heck out of it! It handled decent, I loved the VR coils because the more the coil compresses the stiffer it gets (great for bumps) however the nature of the TTB is ALOT of droop travel and not much bump travel so it doesnt help that much. Their 70/30 shocks were too stiff IMO as well, adding 4 of them is really stiff.

When you want to add radius arms down the road you are stuck using Duff, because other brands will not work with only 3" of lift, your camber will not be able to be corrected. this will require taller axle pivot drop brackets then what you get with Duff, again more parts must be replaced, or like in my case, cut and turned beams must be built to correct camber and driveline angles

As long as we are talking about using the lift mostly for light trail duty and daily driving, the Duff heim joints might be a little much. Heims ride much rougher than bushings, they transfer all the load into the frame and heim joints also wear out and must be replaced every so often.

Now what I learned by going the long way (story of my BII's life) is that if I was to do it over again I would skip all this and go straight to a simple and very cost effective (for what you get) custom beam setup like the ones offered from Camburg, Autofab, Giant, Baja Shop, and others..

when looking to improve the ride qualities, traction, handling, and atriculation of a TTB setup, it is all about geometry, by keeping stock components you are not changing any of it.

Just something to think about before you spend the $$ :)

well does anybody else know of a place to get extended radius arms for cheaper?

Duff arms are what? $450?

See you have to be really careful when you mix match, like using Superlift arms with duff brackets = No Beuno, caster correction is built into the arms.

I would start by looking at used.....

nava joe said:
well does anybody else know of a place to get extended radius arms for cheaper?

isnt the superlift 5.5" lift like 1000 bucks? or am i mistaking it for something else? it comes with extended arms.

410 broke it down for ya... brand by brand.

i am pretty sure 3 inches of lift will be enough to satisfy my offroad urge in this car, i won't need more, i use this for daily driving in snow and salt and i like to go very fast on trails (reason i want the dual shock set-up). I don't think that i will ever go SOA as it is very dangerous, the reason they did SUA is to decrease rollover accidents, so i don't want a roll over accident

well i guess these arms will probably wait a couple of months before being bought, i am putting my order in tomorrow for the duff stage 1 and coil buckets though

Nava Joe, the SOA is not dangerous, because it is always used in conjuntion with wider tires. Explorer's did not get the SUA because of roll overs, but because of axle wrap and street ability, a SUA solid rear drives alot better for soccer moms then a SOA does..... Lifted explorer's often ride and handle 10x's better then stock explorer's, partially due to larger tires, better springs and shocks, and new suspension components.....

You will be happy with your stage I lift I am sure of it, 3" is hardly noticable, it takes 1.5-2" just to get you back to stock new ride height.....

Are you doing shackles in the back?

ug i don't even know if i want the james duff kit anymore, yes it come with lift shackles but when i called to order they tried to charge me a lot more than than the website said, with shipping the stage 1 and the coil buckets it came out to be $970 and some change, they said it was because steel prices went up, i think thats bull and i am reporting them to the BBB for bait and switch tactics

Need I say more?
They are hit and miss at duff, some of their products we were sold years ago didnt even fit the Explorer, it was obviously a Ranger kit tested to fit a Ranger and never tested to fit an Explorer, there are slight differences...

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the price of ssteel has gone up but they are probably charge you more cause they have to make another one to replace the one your are getting which ws made when the price of steel was lower.. go figure...